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America 14, Romney 12, Clinton 11, Us 10, Obama 10, United States 9, Israel 7, Libya 6, New York 5, Jonathan 5, Iran 5, U.n. 4, Clinton Global Initiative 4, Ronald Reagan 4, Paul Ryan 4, U.s. 4, Washington 4, Cgi 3, Humana 3, Sheila 3,
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  MSNBC    NOW With Alex Wagner    News/Business. Alex Wagner.  
   Forces driving the day's stories. New.  

    September 25, 2012
    9:00 - 10:00am PDT  

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joining me today, msnbc contributor jonathan capehart of the "washington post," nbc news political analyst former pennsylvania governor and the current governor of "now," ed rendell. the queen bee of -- >> great honor. >> it's our honor. the queen bee of the grio.com joy reid and host of cycle, steve kornacki. president obama is minutes away from addressing the clinton global initiative. it's been a busy morning for both filled with speeches and media appearances in and around new york city. mitt romney spoke to the clinton global initiative and sat down with education nation. president obama spoke to the u.n. general assembly, follow that, abc aired an interview he and the first lady taped for "the view." the meeting of the united nations general assembly has put foreign policy front and center. president obama used the ait tack on the u.s. consulate in libya and the death on ambassador stevens to make the case for a broader philosophy
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regarding the future of the relations between the middle east and the west. >> the events of the last two weeks also speaks to the need for all of us to honestly address the tensions between the west and the arab world that is moving towards democracy. >> while he made clear that the video that sparked the violence was not reflective of american values the president defended the u.s. response and underscored that free speech is essential to prosperity and to peace. >> as president of our country, and commander in chief of our military, i accept that people are going to call me awful things every day. and i will always defend their right to do so. >> the president then made a pitch to enlist the arab world in combatting extremism. >> a politics based only on anger, one based on dividing the world betweens us and them, not only sets back international cooperation, it ultimately undermines those who tolerate it. all of us have an interest in
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standing up to these forces. >> governor romney's speech at the clinton global initiative had a narrower focus. it centered around american foreign aid proposing a new policy for overseas contributions. >> the aim of a much larger share of our aid must be the promotion of work and the fostering of free enterprise. nothing we can do as a nation will change lives and nations more effectively and permanently than sharing the insight that lies at the foundation of america's own economy. and that is that free people pursuing happiness in their own ways, build a strong and prosperous nation. i've laid out a new approach for a new era. >> governor ed rendell, two candidates both playing the role of statesman at the same time in the same city or relatively the same time in the same city. president obama, obviously, had the heavier lift, he is actually
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the president and the commander in chief and the events in the middle east has increased the load in terms of what he must demonstrate to the rest of the world. what did you make of his address to the u.n. general assembly? did he effectively make the case for america? did he effectively outline a die nat had mick that he would like to see and play between america and the middle east? >> i thought you saw both men at their best this morning. one, i thought president obama's speech did just that and i thought it was a good speech. it laid out what we believe in as americans. it began to explain to hopefully arab citizens all over the world we don't control what comes out of america, what the essence of free speech is. i thought he did a great job. governor romney, particularly in his education nation interview with brian williams, showed he in that setting can be enormously effective, he's poised, he was prepared. it's why i think the debates are going to be very interesting. these debates are not going to be a slam dunk for president obama as many people say. governor romney is very
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effective in that type of venue and setting and he looks presidential, so i think these debates are going to be very, very interesting. you saw both men at their best today. >> the great sasha eisenberg tweeted this was the mitt romney that david brooks has wanted to see all along, yut lining policy, fluent on the topics. talk about the president for a second, steve. there has been a lot of consternation and critique in certain corners about the fact that the president isn't meeting with any world leaders. on one point on "the view" talking about what happened in terms of the death of ambassador chris stevens and your assessment of whether this was a good move? >> well, look, first of all, on the way he phrases the things on 60 minutes when he talked about the bump in the road he gave his political opponents ammunition. i don't think there's going to be a long-term effect. the issues raised this week about he should have met with netanya
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netanyahu, other world leaders, there's some political vulnerability and republicans are probably correct to pick up on that. i think the most significant thing about the noise that's being made about all this is that i think we have eight or ten polls now that have shown on the question of the economy, which was supposed to be the element of the romney campaign, voters are frustrated with obama, want to vote him out, in the last eight or ten polls on the question of who would be better to handle the economy it's a draw. romney campaign in that issue, that was the reason you were going to win was a draw, i think it's a sign they're recognizing that they're now moving on to foreign policy and trying to exploit openings here. i don't think obama is invulnerable on this stuff but when you look at the broader dynamics i have a hard time seeing how this is going to turn it around that dramatically. >> the situation in libya, we don't know what happened with chris stevens and do know as of -- the the has not had a press conference about it. the last we heard beyond jay carney's pressers, is susan rice
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saying this is unrelated to the video, a lot of gray matter that surrounds what went down. it makes sense mitt romney would try to exploit that for campaign purposes and because he probably does have questions as many of us do about what exactly went down and whether there was breach of u.s. intelligence? >> i think both speeches today and overall of state of the race now is that caution is the operative word for the administration. right. they don't want do anything to disturb the patterns in the rate which are all moving in their direction. the libya story has been the one sort of story that persistently is sort of gnawing away a bit at their need to keep things static. the administration doesn't want to do anything to sort of bring more attention to that, obviously. because right now look, most voters are not voting on foreign policy. this is a domestic policy election. there's a limited amount of currency that the romney campaign can get from foreign policy but the one thing the media is interested in so their one -- >> foreign policy is an important subject, regardless of
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whether the american public is vote on it. jonathan, there's something about the optics of seeing the president and first lady on "the view" talking about chris stevens and not meeting with world leaders and not meeting with leaders in the middle east at a period of great change and, you know, what did you make of that in terms of the message that sends? >> well, look, i agree that the libya question, the libya issue, is a vulnerability, like the spelling bee -- >> it's like obfuscation, another word as well. >> here's the problem republicans have in terms of the optics question about the president being on "the view." mitt and ann romney were on "kelly and michael," ann romney is going to be on leno tonight or in the coming days. you know, you can't make the argument that the president should be meeting with world leaders, not looking presidential when your own republican presidential nominee is talking about the fact that he wears very little to bed. >> but he is the president, and mitt romney is -- not the
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president. >> the president is -- >> bold and gutsy. >> but -- >> he's bold. >> wait a minute. but let me make this point. the idea that president is not in contact with world leaders is mind boggling. of course he's in contact with world leaders all the time. would it have been great if he had met with prime minister netanyahu and other leaders while they're here in new york for unga, yes, optimally -- i can't speak today, yes, it would have -- >> thee times slow. >> a great thing, but let's keep in mind, he's talking to those folks all the time. he doesn't need to hand hold everybody every single moment of the day. >> president clinton did a good job dealing with this issue on "morning joe" when he said, look, he had an hour phone conversation with netanyahu last week. i mean you don't do necessarily optics number one and president clinton made the point if you start selecting which foreign leaders you're going to meet with, you're going to tick others off. if he just met with netanyahu and the libyan foreign minister
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he might tick off the egyptian leader. i think jonathan's right. plus, the republicans don't really want to play in the foreign policy ballpark because that's been i think the president's long suit. >> they also don't really have any specific foreign policy plan. >> they criticize on libya but the response is okay, what would you have done? >> right. >> go ahead. >> i think there's another angle to consider on meeting with netanyahu. we can acknowledge netanyahu would like obama to lose this election, better off having mitt romney in the white house. a flip side to that, i think barack obama would probably rather not have netanyahu as the prime minister of israel and ehud barack. in the elections coming up in israel next year, we think of netanyahu speaking for israel, it's a divided republic in israel. his report has been slipping in the last year partly because of domestic economic reasons but also because people think he's gone a little too far out on a limb with iran and too far out in being confrontational with obama. if obama keeps him at arm's
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length and manages to win re-election, netanyahu will have egg on his face in israel and maybe a little more -- >> it is high stakes. he knows he has a window of opportunity to put pressure on the president to take action on iran and it is now. that said, i thought this was a very important point that "the new york times" made today which is that the tensions between mr. obama and the gulf states both american and arab diplomats say, derive from an obama character straight, trait, had he has not built many personal relationships with foreign leaders. you can't fix these problems with remote control. yes, he talks to them on the phone. is it a bad thing to double down and meet them in person while they happen to be in new york city at the same time. i'm not prepared to let him off the hook. >> relationship with foreign leaders. for many decades this country had warm relations with a lot of dictators in that region. >> right. >> hosni mubarak, right. we started doing business with moammar gadhafi during the bush administration. relationships with foreign leaders are not always necessarily a good thing either
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for the region or the flowering of democracy in that region or really for the united states. so i think it's arguable that the president doesn't need to as jonathan put it baby sit these leaders all the time. these sort of meetings that they're having now in a lot of ways are about the optics and i don't think that it was necessary for the president to pander to the jewish american vote meeting with netanyahu, because he's in a good place with that community. i don't think there were many imperatives for the president to sort of put on a show of taking care of this leader or that leader. he's also made it a point of his foreign policy to give america enough distance from some of the gulf states if a revolution takes place there we have the freedom to take the side of the opposition. >> also right, nobody is voting on this issue. this is inside baseball. do you think someone is at home saying he didn't meet with these leaders so i'm not going to vote for him. >> i'm thinking this more in terms of serving america's interests and think there's something to be said not rock
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the boat strategy, the exon nous event that might change the race if you are the obama -- >> exon nous. >> it's a big word. a great crossword word. if you are the obama campaign it would be good to try to stay calm and keep calm and carry on and let this play out as it has been brilliantly for them until november 6th. >> you're 12 points ahead in wisconsin. >> yes. >> in paul ryan's state. mind boggling. >> we will talk more about the campaign realities after the break. you are looking live at the clinton global initiative in new york city. president obama is expected to speak there in just a few moments. we will bring you his remarks live next on "now." bob... oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters
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copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners. something this delicious could only come from nature. now from the maker of splenda sweeteners, discover nectresse. the only 100% natural, no-calorie sweetener made from the goodness of fruit. the rich, sweet taste of sugar. nothing artificial. ♪ it's all that sweet ever needs to be. new nectresse. sweetness naturally. new nectresse. i'm bara ck o new nectresse. bama and i approve romney: "it's time to stand up to the cheaters"
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so let me be clear, america wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy and we believe that there is still time and space to do so. that time is not unlimited. the united states will do what we must to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. >> that was president obama speaking at the u.n. general assembly this morning. steve, it's always an event whenever you have ahmadinejad from iran in the vicinity of -- >> let jonathan try to say it. >> mahmoud ahmadinejad, that i can say. >> very good. >> vulnerability, however. >> you're vulnerable, not on ahmadinejad. but it's always -- he always has some kind of incendiary rhetoric and he has not disappointed this time. nbc news is reporting that
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iran's claim it conducted missile tests in the strait of hormuz is quote pure fabrication. nonetheless of question of iran remains an issue for this president and see this morning he has to both reassure the global audience that look, we, america is prepared to take action to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon at the same time understanding there is no way we are going to iran and starting a war in the next six weeks. >> so much with the relationship and israel and netanyahu and the sense in the obama administration's part if they can get lieu this election and survive sort of the attacks coming from netanyahu and his allies in the united states, they can emerge in a much stronger place after november to pursue a course maybe not in line with where the hawks are in this country. they don't want to be pressured into a situation where nat ya hu is going to act before the election, forced to take a position before the election more hawkish than they want to go. they feel the leverage will be different if they get through this election after everything
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said about how weak obama is on iran, and thrown israel under the bus, get the through and wins no measurable drop in jewish support, we're talking about -- my turn, the dynamics -- >> it's going around. >> you know, little known fact wasn't covered much by the press but the obama administration, secretary clinton, delisted real iranian resistance group always a thorn in the side of iran, iran put heavy pressure on the united states to keep on the foreign terrorist list, the mek and the obama administration sent a message to the iranians, look, these people haven't committed any terrorism in 25, 30 years, the whole world has delisted them, you're not going to blackmail u.s. policy. >> if you look at over all of the administration stance on iran with these sanctions which have demon strablely had hurt the iranian economy, it's why republicans don't want to take up the issue of foreign policy. mitt romney said i would have put the sanctions in place earlier. i'm not sure that's a bright
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line in the sand as far as the american voter is concerned or real foreign policy watcher. >> his position appears to bes the same as the president's position. with peter alexander yesterday or maybe in the 60 minute minutes interview asked if what mitt romney wants to go to war with iran he should say so. >> he has advisers that do. if you look at the people that surround mitt romney there are many of the same sort of neocons that surrounded george w. bush and are -- maureen dowd wrote a column about this. they tend to favor an empty vessel candidate to give this ideology to. mitt romney is that nonideological guy and these guys maybe do want a war with iran, john bolton's that are in mitt romney's camp. please them or be rationale. >> i thought as i was watching his convention speech, going along, saying he's doing a good job, this is an a-minus, b-plus speech, and then he veered into foreign policy in the last few
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seconds and it was scary as can be. the tone he took about iran, tone about russia, we're going to reinstate the cold war, third war in asia on the ground against iran, i was thinking of independent voters saying oh, my gosh, this guy has lost me. >> no appetite for that. >> that fits in with this broader narrative that mitt romney has tried to further about the president being weak on, you know, on american interests. you've written a book called a nation woosts, but we can't close out the show without mentioning it. the idea that somehow the president is apologizing for america -- mitt romney said it again today and jonathan, my favorite part, he was making this big point about the bigness of the american heart and bigness of the american spirit and the next line was and i will never apologize to -- for america. it was like this is a complete fabrication and shows there's something corrupt in your mind if you believe that. >> but it also shows that still, on september 25th is it?
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he still is using the language from the primary. that's something that gens up the far right wing of the republican party and he doesn't need it as the governor said. >> the other possibility there, i agree, i haven't been struck but expect it to be a more pivot from the romney campaign to the general election but the other thing is because of the success obama has had on foreign policy and national security issues and because in the republicans basically decided when he became president, jimmy carter 2 and treat him as this care rick ka tour of weakness that's not what he's been as president, it's forced the republicans and romney and his campaign to have -- to assume that posture of being from the right and being more hawkish than obama. they've had to go way far to the right and you talk about this rhetoric on iran. if you want to become more hawkish than obama, become far to obama's right so there's a distinction there this is the way you have to talk and starts sounding out of the mainstream which it is. >> the reagan carter dynamic is something they have doubled down on. paul ryan yesterday saying this
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and i'm reminded of 1979 and tehran, which is a wild, wildly grossly inaccurate -- >> always 1979 -- >> yes. >> instead of morning in america it's 1979 tehran. even today mitt romney in his cgi speech talking about reagan economic zones. reagan also raises taxes. >> reagan would have been a rhino in this republican party. the irony doting on the ghost of ronald reagan is he could not have survived in the current iteration of the republican party. ronald reagan said no to war with the soviet union. ronald reagan actually said yes to reducing the number of nuclear weapons in both sides arsenal's. ronald reagan was a figure almost more comfortable in barack obama's democratic party and his wing -- >> don't say that too loudly. >> check your twitter feed. >> just exploded. >> we have to take a break but we are waiting for the president to speak at the clinton global initiative. meanwhile, president obama and governor romney also spoke at
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nbc's education nation summit. big times. we will discuss their remarks. also paul ryan weighs in on the last night's nfl controversy and brings it back to, guess who, president obama. all of that is next on "now." want to try to crack it? yeah, that's the way to do it! now we need a little bit more... a little bit more vanilla? this is great! [ male announcer ] at humana, we believe there's never been a better time to share your passions... because the results... are you having fun doing this? yeah. that's a very nice cake! [ male announcer ] well, you can't beat them. [ giggles ] ohh! you got something huh? whoa... [ male announcer ] humana understands the value of spending time together that's a lot of work getting that one in! let's go see the birdies. [ male announcer ] one on one, sharing what you know. let's do it grandpa. that's why humana agents will sit down with you, to listen and understand what's important to you.
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we've got to think long term. we've got to think long term. ♪ and less saturated fat? it's eb. eggland's best eggs. better taste. better nutrition. better eggs. it's eb. did you guys watch that packer game last night? i mean, give me a break. it is time to get the real refs and you know what, it reminds me of president obama and the economy. if you can't get it right it's time to get out. >> that was paul ryan speaking at a town hall in cincinnati a few moments ago using last night's missed nfl call to take a shot at president obama. nothing ignites twitter like a
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blown call during a football game after the replacement refs fumbled a call during monday's game between the seahawks and packers that gave seattle the win more folks are calling on the nfl to end its labor dispute to e with the association. >> that joke was a preplanned dig, wasn't an off the cuff joke. was it even funny? two, the nfl dispute. your thoughts on both? >> basic, if you're losing your home state by 12 points go back to the packers. >> yes. >> that's number one. number two, it's ludicrous when governor romney was asked to evaluate president obama's performance in office, he gave him an "f" in every category. he lost credibility right then and there. jonathan and i were talking, he should have said on education nation, when he was asked about arne duncan, arne duncan has done a great job. i would give serious
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consideration to keeping him. that's how you sound like a credible leader, someone that wants to bring the nation together. barack obama on foreign policy had he's made some mistakes but i would give him a c plus. that's how you keep credibilityp these guys are ruv snjuvenile. >> he said i think it's laudable had he's taken on the unions but could not get around to saying there was somebody i would keep in place. president obama kept bob gates in place. >> at a pivotal moment in the nation's history. someone said, i can't remember where it was, probably at the paper, but said if -- >> probably at "the washington post." >> yes. "washington post," that if mitt romney were to say he would keep arne duncan, that would be a bold move and figure that he would unleash, make that announcement during the debates to scramble everything. brian williams gave him the perfect opportunity right then and there to at least, you know, show a little leg and say, oh,
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well, he's a terrific guy, i like what he's doing, done the right things, of course he would be in the mix of people who i would consider and he didn't take that opportunity. >> this is the fear we've talked about earlier on the shows and previous shows about opening the door to any kind of criticism from the base that he is pandering to the middle. >> irrational, psychotic fear of the right. >> psychotic. they need you to punch barack obama in the face at all opportunities. it's ironic and funny they're support rg -- the nfl is the most socialist entity on earth besides social security itself and they are supporting the union refs against the skabs. i think that is -- >> scott walker tweeting bring back the real refs. >> the union refs. >> and that is an amazing thing, is it not? now involved in collective bargaining, the nfl released a statement about last night's game saying the results of the game is final which is probably not making any friends -- >> get condi rice to come in to be the arbitrator. >> she was supposed to be the
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nfl commissioner back in the day. >> yeah. >> there's -- who knows. >> we will be back with more actually on education nation and governor romney's thoughts and president obama's thoughts coming up. governor romney also tried to channel president obama during his speech at the clinton global initiative hoping to get a poll boost from president clinton as he tries to do so often. we will play romney's bump comment and discuss the role cgi plays in the broader american narrative ahead on "now." [ female announcer ] ordinary lotions aren't made to treat eczema, so it can feel like you're using nothing at all. but neosporin® eczema essentials™ is different. its multi-action formula restores visibly healthier skin
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president bill clinton is introducing president barack obama at the clinton global initiative. let's take a listen to president clinton. >> as a community organizer. and then he picked secretary of state who was a walking ngo.
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and so i'm very grateful that he made time to join us here today. he gave an important speech at the united nations earlier about all the things that are going on in the world and i am particularly appreciative of what he came here to speak about today, so mr. president, the podium is yours and thanks for coming again. >>. [ applause ] >> thank you. thank you so much. thank you. thank you. thank you very much. thank you, twice. twice. thank you. appreciate it. please, everybody have a seat. well, good afternoon, everybody. and president clinton, thank you for your very kind introduction, although i have to admit, i really did like the speech a few
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weeks ago a little bit better. afterwards, somebody tweeted that -- somebody needs to make him secretary of explaining things. although they didn't use the word things. president clinton, you are a tireless, passionate advocate on behalf of what's best in our country. you have helped to improve and save the lives of millions of people around the world. i am grateful for your friendship and your extraordinary leadership. and i think i speak for the entire country when we say that you continue to be a great treasure for all of us. [ applause ]
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now as always, i also have to thank president clinton for being so understanding with the record-breaking number of countries visited by our secretary of state. [ applause ] as we've seen again in recent days, hillary clinton is a leader of grace and grit and i believe she will go down as one of finest secretaries of state in american history. [ applause ] >> so we are grateful to her. to the dedicated cgi staff and every organization that's made commitments and touched the lives of hundreds of millions of people, thank you for being an example of what we need more of in the world, especially in washington. working together to actually
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solve problems. and that's why i'm here. as bill mentioned i've come to cgi every year that i've been president and i've talked with you about how we need to sustain the economic recovery, how we need to create more jobs and i've talked about the importance of development from global health to our fight against hiv/aids to the growth that lifts nations to prosperity. we talked about development and how it has to include women and girls, because by every benchmark nations that educate their women and girls end up being more successful. [ applause ] and today i want to discuss an issue that relates to each of these challenges. it ought to concern every person because it is at the base of our common humanity. it ought to concern every community because it tears at
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our social fabric. it ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. it ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. i am talking about the injustice, the outrage of human trafficking which must be called by it truce name, modern slavery. [ applause ] now, i do not use that word slavery lightly. it evokes obviously one of the most painful chapters in our nation's history but around the world, there's no denying the awful reality. when a man desperate for work finds himself in a factory or fishing boat or a field working toiling for little or no pay and
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beaten if he tries to escape, that is slavery. when a woman is locked in a sweat shop or trapped in a home as a domestic servant alone and abused, and incapable of leaving, that's slavery. when a little boy is kidnapped, turned into a child soldier, forced to kill, or be killed, that's slavery. when a little girl is sold by her impoverished family, girls my daughters' age, runs away from home or is lured by the false promise of a better life and then imprisoned in a brothel and tortured if he resists, that's slavery. it is barbaric and it is evil and it has no place in a civilized world. now, as a nation -- [ applause ]
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as a nation, we've long rejected such cruelty, just a few days ago we marked the 150th anniversary of a document that i have hanging in the oval office, the emancipation proclamation. with the advance of union forces it brought a new day that all persons held as slaves would then forth be forever free. we wrote that promise into our constitution. we spent decades struggling to make it real. we joined with other nations in the universal declaration of human rights so that slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms. global movement was sparked with the trafficking victims protection act signed by president clinton and carried on by president bush. and here at cgi, you've made
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impressive commitments in this fight. we ares especially honored to be joined today by advocates who dedicate their lives and at times risk their lives to liberate victims and help them recover. this includes men and women of faith, who like the great abolitionists before them, are truly doing the lord's work. evangelicals, the catholic church, international justice mission, and world relief, even individual congregations like passion city church in atlanta, and so many young people of faith who have decided that their conscience compels them to act in the face of injustice. groups like these are answering the bible's call, to seek justice and rescue the oppressed. some of them join us today and we are grateful for your leadership. now as president, i've made it clear that the united states will continue to be a leader in this global movement. we've got a comprehensive
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strategy, we're shining a spotlight on the dark corners where it persists, under hillary's leadership we're doing more than ever with our annual trafficking report. with new outreach and partnerships to give countries incentives to meet their responsibilities and calling them out when they don't. i recently renewed sanctions on some of the worst abusers including north korea and aura tree ya, we're partnering with groups that help women and children escape from the grip of their abusers, helping other countries step up their own efforts and seeing results. more nations have passed and more are enforcing modern anti-trafficking laws. last week, i was proud to welcome to the oval office not only a great champion of democracy, but a fierce advocate against the use of forced labor and child soldiers, aung san suu kyi. [ applause ]
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and as part of our engagement, we'll encourage burma to keep taking steps to reform because nations must speak with one voice. our people and our children are not for sale. but for all the progress that we've made, the bitter truth is that trafficking also goes on right here in the united states. it's the migrant worker unable to pay off the debt to his trafficker. the man lured here with the promise of a job, his documents taken and forced to work endless hours in a kitchen. the teenage girl beaten, forced to walk the streets. this should not be happening in the united states of america. as president i directed my administration to step up our efforts and we have. for the first time at hillary's direction our annual trafficking report now includes the united states because we can't ask other nations to do what we are not doing ourselves.
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[ applause ] we've expanded our interagency task force to include more federal partners including the fbi, the intelligence community is devoting more resources to identifying trafficking networks, we've strengthened protections that foreign born workers know their rights and most of all we're going after the traffickers. new anti-trafficking teams are dismantling their networks. last year we charged a record number of these predators with human trafficking. we're putting them where they belong, behind bars. but -- [ applause ] but with more than 20 million victims of human trafficking around the world, think about that, more than 20 million, we've got a lot more to do. that's why earlier this year i directed my administration to increase our efforts and today i
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can announce a series of additional steps that we're going to take. first we're going to do more to spot it and stop it. we'll prepare a new assessment of human trafficking in the united states so we better understand the scope and scale of the problem. we'll strengthen training so investigators and law enforcement are even better equipped to take action. and treat victims as victims, not as criminals. [ applause ] we're going to work with amtrak and bus and truck inspectors so they're on the lookout, we'll help teachers and educators spot the signs as well. and better serve those who are vulnerable, especially our young people. second, we're turning the table on the traffickers. just as they are now using technology and the internet to exploit their victims we're going to harness technology to ston them. we're encouraging tech companies and advocates and law
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enforcement and we're also challenging college students to develop tools that our young people can use to stay safe on-line, and on their smartphones. third, we'll do even more to help victims recover and rebuild their lives. we'll develop a new action plan to improve coordination across the federal government. we're increasing access to services to help survivors become self-sufficient. we're working to simplify visa procedures so that innocent victims from other countries can stay here as they help us prosecute their traffickers. this coming year my office of faith based partnerships will make the fight against human trafficking a focus of its work and i'm also proud -- they're doing great work. i'm also proud to announce a new partnership with humanity united which is a leader in anti-trafficking. a multimillion-dollar challenge to local opportunities to find new ways to care for trafficking
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victims. i want to thank john hop kips university which will be focusing on how to best care for child victims. [ applause ] finally as one of the largest purchasers of goods and services in the world the united states government will lead by example. we've already taken steps to make sure our contractors do not engage in forced labor and today we're going to go further. i've signed a new executive order that raises the bar. it's specific about the prohibitions. it does more to protect workers, ensures stronger compliance, in short we're making clear that american tax dollars must never, ever, be used to support the trafficking of human beings. we will have zero tolerance, we mean what we say, we will enforce it. [ applause ]
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of course no government, no nation can meet this challenge alone. everybody has a responsibility. every nation can take action. modern anti-trafficking laws must be passed and enforced. justice systems must be strengthened. victims must be cared for. so here in the united states, congress should renew the trafficking victims protection act, whether you are conservative or liberal, democrat or republican, this is a no-brainer, this is something we should all agree on. we need to get that done. more broadly as nations, let's recommit to addressing the underlining forces that push so many into the first place. with legitimate jobs there's less likelihood of indentured servitude around the globe. a sense of justice that says no
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child should ever be exploited, that has to be burned into the cultures of every country. a commitment to equality as in the equal futures partnership that we launched with other nations yesterday, so societies empower our sisters and our daughters, just as much as our brothers and sons. [ applause ] and every business can take action, all the business leaders here in our global economy, companies have a responsibility to make sure their supply chains stretching into the far corners of the globe, are free of forced labor. the good news is more and more responsible companies are holding themselves to higher standards. and today i want to salute the new commitments that are being made. that includes the new global business coalition against trafficking. companies that are sending a message, human trafficking is not a business model, it is a
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crime and we are going to stop it. we're proud of them. every faith community can take action as well. by educating their congregations, by joining in coalitions that are bound by a love of god and a concern for the oppressed. like that good samaritan on the road to jericho, we can't just pass by. we've got to be moved by compassion. we've got to bind up the wounds come together around a simple truth we are our brother's keepers and sister's keepers. and finally, every citizen can take action by learning more, by going to the website that we helped create, slaveryfootprint.org, by speaking up and insisting the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the products we buy are made free of forced labor, by
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standing up against the degradation and abuse of women. that's how real change happens, from the bottom up. and if you doubt that, ask marie goday ota from the congo. think of marie's story. kidnapped by rebels, turned into a slave. she was abused physically and sexually. they got her pregnant five times. in one awful battle her children were killed, all five of them. miraculously she survived and escaped. and with care and support she began to heal. she learned to read and write and sew and today marie is back home working toward a new future. or ask ema matu, grew up in
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indonesia and at 17 was given the opportunity to work as a nanny here in the united states but when she arrived it turned out to be a nightmare. cooking, cleaning, 18 hour days, seven days a week, one beating was so bad it sent her to the emergency room. finally she escaped and with the help from a group that cared, today she has a stable job, advocate, she's even testified before congress. or, ask sheila white, who grew up in the bronx, fleeing an abusive home, she fell in with a guy who said he would protect her. he sold her just 15 years old. 15. to men who raped her and beat her and burned her with irons. and finally after years with the help of a non-profit led by other survivors, she found the courage to break free and get the services she needed. sheila earned her ged, today she is a powerful, fierce advocate
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who helped to pass a new anti-trafficking law right here in new york. [ applause ] . >> these women endured unspeakable horror, but in their unbreakable will, in their courage, in their resilience, they remind us that this cycle can be broken. victims can become not only survivors, they can become leaders and vad owe cats and bring about change. and i just met eman, sheila and their fellow advocates and they are an incredible inspiration. they are here, they've chosen to tell their stories. i want them to stand and be recognized because they are inspiring all of us. please.
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sheila, ima. [ applause ] to ema and sheila and each of you, in the darkest hours of your lives, you may have felt utterly alone and seemed like nobody cared. and the important thing for us to understand is there are millions around the world who are feeling that same way this very moment. right now, there is a man on a
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boat casting the net with his bleeding hands, knowing he deserves a better life, a life of dignity, but doesn't know if anybody is paying attention. right now, there's a well hunched over a sewing machine glancing beyond the bars on the window knowing if just given the chance, she might some day sell her own wares but she doesn't think anybody is paying attention. right now there's a young boy in a brick factory covered in dust hauling his load under the sun thinking if he could go to school he might know a different future but he doesn't think anybody's paying attention. right now there is a girl, somewhere trapped in a brothel, crying herself to sleep again, and maybe daring to imagine that some day, just maybe, she might be treated no the like a piece of property but as a human being. and so our message today to them
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is, to the millions around the world, we see you. we hear you. we insist on your dignity and we share your belief that if just given the chance, you will forge a life equal to your talents and worthy of your dreams. and our fight -- [ applause ] our fight against human trafficking is one of the great human rights causes of our time and the united states will continue to lead it in partnership with you. the change we seek will not come easy, but we can draw strength from the movements of the past. for we know that every life saved in the words of that great proclamation, is an act of justice, worthy of the consider ate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of all mighty god. that's what we believe. that's what we're fighting for.
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i'm so proud to be in partnership with cgi to make this happen. thank you very much, everybody. god bless you. god bless america. >> that was president obama speaking at the global -- clinton global initiative and addressing the difficult and sensitive issue of human trafficking. that does it for us today. thanks again to jonathan, governor rendell, joy and steve, and remember to catch steve today and every week day on "the cycle" at 3:00 p.m. eastern here on msnbc. i'll see you back here tomorrow at noon eastern, 9:00 pacific joined by "the washington post's" melinda headen berger, new york magazine's john heilemann, freshly minted emmy winner and new york "time" magazi magazine. "andrea mitchell reports" is next, live from new york city. good evening, andrea. >> good afternoon. on "andrea mitchell reports"" is
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this the red line at the u.n. president obama issues a warning to iran. >> america wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy and there is still time and space to do so. but that time is not unlimited. make no mistake a nuclear armed iran is not a challenge that could be contained. it would threaten the elimination of israel, the security of gulf nations and the stability of the global economy. >> and a message for those inciting anti-american outrage in the middle east. >> there are no words that excuse the killing of innocence, no video that justifies an attack on an embassy. >> only a few blocks away, mitt romney at the clinton global initiative says president obama's policies aren't working. >> iran is moving toward nuclear weapons capability. we somehow feel we're at the mercy of events rather than shaping events. >> and governor romney jokes about his host, bill clinton.
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>> if there's one thing we've learned in this election season, by the way, it is that a few words from bill clinton can do a man a lot of good. all i got to do now is wait a couple days for that bounce to happen. >> education nation, as s.a.t. scores plummet to a four-decades low, president obama and mitt romney both lay out contrasting proposals for the classroom today. plus, the woman in charge, my exclusive interview with imf chief christine lagarde on the global financial crisis and shattering that glass ceiling. >> do you find that there are men in finance or in government who treat you in a patronizing way. >> oh, yeah. yeah. of course. >> really? >> tell us who. >> and the controversial call that has packers fans crying foul. the nfl on defense as outraged fans want to sideline those replacement refs.